The National Secretary for the ECG Workers Union, Patrick Tetteh Binyeme, has accused the NPP government of acting in bad faith after going ahead to renegotiate the ECG compact agreement without due consultations with key stakeholders in the industry.
He expressed the union’s disappointment at President Akufo-Addo’s move to renegotiate the deal, following series of assurances from the presidency during his State of the Nation Address to parliament this year and the sector ministry to workers of Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG), Labour and other key stakeholders that the government would conduct the necessary consultation with all stakeholders in the country.
Mr. Binyeme was reacting to a section of President Akufo-Addo speech delivered during his address to mark the celebration of May Day, which he said “Government has amended the terms of the concession agreement to require that one; Ghanaians own at least 51 percent of the concession. Two, there should be no involuntary layoffs as a result of the concession, and that the term of the concession will be reduced from 25 years to 20 years.”
He said the government before making the move should meet with workers of ECG and allow them to make an input into the renegotiation of the compact agreement.
“It’s right for the government to sit and hold talks with us the workers to know our challenges and concerns. Maybe our input when considered would go a long way to improve the terms of the renegotiation.. It came as a surprise to us when we heard the president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo make pronouncement with regard to the deal, so we are asking where is the stakeholders meeting he promised us? “ He quizzed.
According to the National Secretary for the ECG Workers Union, the current renegotiated compact agreement should not only be the concern of ECG workers, but also a concern for every well meaning Ghanaians since any consequence resulting from the deal will affect every citizen of Ghana.
He revealed that with the coming into operation of the new compact deal, there would be an upward adjustments in tariffs, electrification of rural areas would also be impacted negatively and most of the equipment used in the distribution networks would become obsolete after the 25 years span of the deal and this is because most of the equipments used in the distribution processes have a life span of 25 years.
The Public Utility Workers’ Union also expressed regret that the President did not consult the various stakeholders before renegotiating the deal.
The General Secretary of PUWU, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, in an interview, said “the President during the State of the Nation Address noted he was going to organize a dialogue between labour, ECG and MiDA to discuss the details surrounding this concession before any firm position is taken, unfortunately that did not happen…. If that kind of consultation had taken place prior to this announcement and some details provided, I strongly believe that the workers would have been happier.
“We have stated that we are taking a second look at the ECG compact. We are driven by two considerations: we are as concerned, as the workers, that the reforms should not lead to involuntary job losses and we should find a long term resolution to the nation’s electricity problems.
In this regard, government has amended the terms of the concession agreement to require that: (1) Ghanaians own at least 51% of the concession; (2) there should be no involuntary lay-offs as a result of the concession; (3) the term of the concession would be reduced from 25 to 20 years. We believe that these amendments meet the aspirations of Ghanaians in protecting the jobs of workers and in assuring the control and viability of ECG.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Nana Appiah Acquaye